Seattle's long wait for 65° getting among its longest waits on record

Another rainy, cool evening in Seattle. (Photo: Sigma Sreedharan Photography)

There was much drama earlier this month (OK, maybe only for weather geeks) when Seattle was eagerly and longingly awaiting its first 60 degree day of the year.

The momentous occasion finally occurred on April 4, when the temperature soared to 61 degrees! (Right before it started to pour rain.) April 4 was tied for the 4th-longest wait to reach that mark in Sea-Tac's history.

But it's not like we've then flipped the switch to spring since. We managed to eke to 60 degrees two days later, but 61 remains the high-water mark of the year as we near the mid-way point of April.

That's had other fellow weather geeks on social media, eager to find something new to track, ask: "Are we in danger of setting the record for latest 65 degree day?" Because if you're going to go through a weather anomaly, might as well get a trophy for it, right? (Although admittedly, in the grand scheme of Seattle weather records, this is more like a ribbon you'd keep in your top drawer instead of prominently display in the glass case.)

To answer the question...we've got a long way to go yet to reach the record for longest wait until our first 65 degree day. There have been some years where the chill has stretched well into May.

But we are at least nearing Top 10 territory.

Latest date to reach 65 degrees at Sea-Tac Airport (Courtesy: Jason Phelps)

  1. May 15, 1961
  2. May 6, 1967
  3. April 26, 1997
  4. April 23, 2006
  5. April 23, 2011
  6. April 20, 1982
  7. April 20, 1993
  8. April 19, 1950
  9. April 19, 1953
  10. April 15, 1983
  11. April 15, 1999
  12. April 14, 1974
  13. April 14, 1984
  14. April 13, 2017 ** <-- Still Active

The forecast for the next week shows 60 will remain a challenge to reach, much less 65. The Weather Channel goes out 15 days to April 27 65 there. Accuweather even puts out a 90 day guess for forecasts and they don't have a 65 degree day on the board until... May 11.

And even then, it wouldn't get us a first place ribbon. But I think it's looking pretty good that we'll earn something more than a participation banner this year!

P.S... What about 70?

Some others have asked about latest 70 too. Top 5 are all in mid-to-late May with latest date being May 23, 2003.

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